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Monday, May 4, 2009

Ricky Hatton says sorry to fans after Manny Pacquiao defeat

Hatton lost his IBO and Ring Magazine titles in a crushing knockout by pound-for-pound king Pacquiao that sent the Englishman to hospital and led to calls for the 30-year-old to retire following the second defeat of his professional career.

Hatton received a brain scan at the Valley Hospital in Las Vegas immediately after the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena before being allowed to return to his hotel suite a few hours later.

He later made an apology to thousands of fans who had travelled to the Nevada desert city and had seen him lose after just five minutes and 59 seconds.

"I'm so desperately sorry for you all," Hatton said. "I thought I would win but it went wrong.

"I'm OK but so upset for the supporters. I didn't see the punch coming, but it was a great shot," he added. "I congratulate Manny. He is a terrific fighter."

Hatton was last night hosting a poolside party at the MGM Grand Hotel and appeared relaxed and unmarked following his ordeal the previous night as he posed for pictures with his younger brother Matthew, who had won his welterweight fight on the undercard.

Yet hours earlier, talk of a rift in the Hatton camp between American trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr and English assistant trainer Lee Beard was raised once again as a possible contributory factor to the defeat.

"It's an interesting point but the one person to blame is Pacquiao," Hatton Promotions chief executive Gareth Williams said on Saturday night.

Mayweather Sr only briefly appeared at the post fight press conference but had not sat on the chairs and taken questions alongside Beard and Williams.

"Lee's a lot more involved with Ricky Hatton than Floyd Mayweather is," Williams added. "Floyd Mayweather was brought in for 12 weeks to do a job and that's the end of it.

"He's finished now and we don't know what's going to happen.

"Lee Beard's with Hatton Promotions 365 days a year, Floyd Mayweather's there for 12 weeks before a fight and that's the difference.

"Probably the best way to describe (Floyd) is that he's on board as a consultant.

"Mayweather's come in to do a specific job.

"He doesn't control Ricky Hatton, he doesn't speak for Ricky Hatton, he speaks for Floyd Mayweather and if he doesn't want to be here, he doesn't want to be here."

Mayweather Sr had waged a war of words with Pacquiao's handler Freddie Roach throughout the fight build-up but despite the defeat insisted he was still the better trainer.

"Freddie Roach's man listened, my man didn't and I'm not going to take anything (away) from him," Mayweather Sr said.

"He overshadowed me today, but is he a better trainer than me? Hell no."

Asked to pinpoint the reason for Hatton's quick demise, Mayweather Sr said: "He should have kept his hands up better. If you want to talk about the mistake, that was the mistake – something I've been preaching and preaching and preaching about."

Yet Mayweather insisted, contrary to some reports, that it was not his place to tell Hatton to retire.

"I couldn't tell anybody to retire and I wouldn't suggest that he retire, I would let him do it on his own. I think that's the best way to do that," he said.

"Sometimes when people know they are through they might want to continue, try again, try one more time but at the end of the day the individual, whoever they may be, should make that decision.

"He tried twice, he failed twice so I'm just saying that strike three is out. It's his choice at the end of the day though."

Source: telegraph.co.uk

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